It's so difficult to know where to start—but perhaps, in this case, with a fact: he had a huge heart. Literally and figuratively, Wyatt's heart was larger than normal. Everyone who knew Wyatt would tell you he had a big heart; but Wyatt was also born with a heart condition called Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM for short). It was this condition, at the age of 17, that stopped Wyatt's heart from beating on the morning of December 4, 2021. Hard to imagine, as the night before was filled with friends, laughter, and celebration, at a Christmas party with his parents, friends, and his new colleagues. The next morning, he went—totally unexpectedly—but quickly and peacefully.
Let's start earlier. As a young boy, Wyatt loved two things most: fixing things and helping people. He had what seemed like a sixth sense for understanding how things work. Give him something others struggled with, and Wyatt would have it figured out in no time. Pair that with unlimited energy, an unending curiosity, a work ethic not always common these days, a sometimes frustrating amount of persistence, enthusiasm, and brilliance, and you have a kid who would become great at nearly every hobby he picked up. Most he shared with his dad: Skiing, Camping, Hunting, Fishing, Mountain Biking, Dirt Biking, anything on a lake, and building or making things, and most importantly spending time with friends. Great hobbies for a kid born and raised in Bozeman, Montana, and yes, by 17, he was better than his dad at all of them.
One attribute that Wyatt exemplified—perhaps beyond anything else—was his strong desire to help others. As a toddler, it meant following his dad around to "help" with everything. As he grew older, it quickly became truly about helping his parents and his sister, Kacie, with anything and everything. He and Kacie had a typical sibling rivalry relationship, but he was there for her whenever she needed something. He was always looking out for her even when she didn't see it; perhaps especially then. He helped his mom by sharing everything with her (something she needed)—random phone calls on his way home from school or work or late-night chats in the kitchen while he ate a full box of Cheerios, or the times he would just come in the room and share videos with her that made them both laugh.
Speaking of laughing, he did it often and, as all who knew him well can attest, he wore a smile much of his life. His desire to help extended to neighbors, family members, and eventually his friends. Wyatt couldn't sit still, so he used his energy to enjoy his hobbies as often as possible. When he wasn't playing, he used that energy to help others. Fixing mechanical things came easy to him and that's often how he helped. As he became a young man though, that extended well beyond fixing things, and morphed into truly helping people work through hard times, or often just getting them out of a jam (his friends have plenty of stories about this). He grew into a man even at 17. He grew taller than his dad, and stronger in many ways. But more so was his maturity; he was an old soul. He still goofed around like a teenager (mostly to get those around him to laugh, which he was exceptionally good at doing, with his remarkably quick wit). Yet his ability to read others, and to know when they were struggling, showed the emotional intelligence of someone much older and wiser. His desire to help those who were struggling—and his perceptiveness in noting when someone needed a friend, care, support, or just a moment of levity and laughter—in particular with his peers, is perhaps Wyatt's most extraordinary trait. His ability to connect emotionally with others—to offer care, support, and the generosity of his friendship—exemplified his maturity and deep humanity.
Already, in these short few days since he passed, it's clear from the outpouring of messages coming in that he helped immeasurably more people than any one of us could ever know. We all need you now, Wyatt Evans. You will be so profoundly missed. Your time on this planet was far too short, and we will NEVER forget you.
He didn't intend to leave us with broken hearts or not be here to make us smile again. A piece of our hearts went with Wyatt. He knew we adored him. We are so grateful for his life—if only for 17 remarkable years. Wyatt is studying the universe now and we will always feel his presence.
Wyatt was born on October 30, 2004. He is survived by his sister, Kacie, and his parents, Jon and Jennifer Evans. He's also survived by his grandparents, Dr. Michael and Diane Carlson Evans, and Gene and Cindy Fenhaus, numerous aunts and uncles, cousins, and countless friends. In lieu of flowers, please support the Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Association, so that other lives may be saved: https://4hcm.org/donate/ [4hcm.org]
Wyatt's service will be held at Journey Church in Bozeman on Saturday, 12/11, at 1:00pm MST. It is an open service for all to attend. Please bring your favorite photo of Wyatt to be placed on a memory board for the family.
For those who cannot attend in person, it will be livestreamed at: www.thecommonsbozeman.com/live [thecommonsbozeman.com]
Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service. www.dokkennelson.com [dokkennelson.com]